Joan Oates Institute

2023 Summer Course

Monday, June 26 - Friday, June 30, 2023

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

This five-day course will be held in-person at the University of Richmond. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided each day.

It's just good teaching

The Joan Oates Institute (JOI) trains PK-12 educators and community experts to engage and empower all students through creative and experiential methods, reflection, and collaboration.

Participants will experience hands-on workshops that integrate community and culture into your instructional practice through the arts and technology.

Who should attend?

PK-12 Educators

Current teachers, administrators, specialists, coordinators, and coaches can register for the course for graduate credit at our discounted PD rate, or as non-credit professional learning. Current degree-seeking students may enroll as an elective.

Community Artists and Experts

Individual teaching artists, arts and cultural staff, informal educators, community professionals, and subject matter experts should register for Professional Learning. Please inquire if you are interested in graduate credit or pursuing a degree.

Transformative Professional Development

This institute will transform how you teach. Educators will learn from and with regional and national-level artists and experts this summer, with time built in to each day for collaborative planning best practices.

The driving question of our training is, “How do we learn?” This informs the thinking tools we provide so that you can connect curricular content to real-world experiences for students, practicing place-based education and supporting social emotional learning.

Powerful Outcomes

You will discover a teaching and learning model designed to engage your students in deep and culturally responsive learning, both inside and outside of the school setting. View the modules in the drop down menus below for descriptions of each workshop and instructor.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • engage and empower students by connecting their backgrounds and interests to community expertise and resources
  • integrate diverse cultures to help students contextualize curriculum in the real world
  • explore big ideas through lenses of multiple disciplines in an interactive, hands-on setting
  • provide a range of creative mediums to assess comprehension in authentic and innovative ways
  • develop interdisciplinary lessons and unit plans to use in your teaching
The course may be taken for up to 50 hours of professional development, or as a graduate credit course eligible for tuition reimbursement by many school divisions.

Course Details

Expand All
  • Objectives
    • Understand the philosophy, techniques, and impacts of a multimodal, interdisciplinary approach to teaching
    • Practice inquiry-based educational methods that incorporate arts, technology, culture, and community, and examine how they influence academic and social-emotional outcomes
    • Learn how to view and apply the arts to curricular instruction and assessment with students
  • Outcomes

    Participants will create an educational plan to integrate the arts into their local school curriculum, learn about arts integration resources, and join a network of professional colleagues interested in integrating creativity and sparking curiosity in classrooms. The innovative lessons and unit plans developed in this course can become the basis of a grant proposal, PBL, or IB project.

  • 2023 Modules

    Day 1: Integrated Learning 101

    • UR Education faculty Bob Spires and Partners in the Arts Director Rob McAdams (Bob & Rob) will share and model how to build a learning community based on equity, trust, and candor. Educators will access the framework for integrated instruction and assessment tools to begin a unit plan. 
    • Learning with ArcGIS StoryMaps: Educators will use this data visualization tool for direct instruction, virtual field trips, independent learning, and e-portfolios.

    Day 2: Exploring and Capturing Community Stories

    • Former National Geographic editor and reporter Don Belt shares his “Slow Journalism" curriculum based on the Out of Eden Walk and will guide participants through close observation, mapping, photo/video basics, and interviewing processes that improve observation, active listening skills, and build deep connections to the world around them and the people in it.
    • Discovering Community with ArcGIS StoryMaps: Educators will use their own communities to research projects in American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History and analyze the systems and policies that impact their communities as they tell their personal stories form where they live and work.
    • History of Hip Hop: Choreographer and UR dance instructor Deandra Clarke shares a 50-year overview of hip hop history and culture in preparation for Day 4’s workshops.

    Day 3: Using Culturally Situated Design Tools

    • Explore Ron Eglash’s CSDT research, where culture and STEM+C collide by studying “heritage algorithms” in everything from Native beadwork to urban graffiti. Participants will make math and computer science connections that combat racial and gender misconceptions. An exploration of generative versus extractive economies will lead into an E-waste activity aligned to Adinkra practices and imagery.

    Day 4: The Elements of Hip Hop - 50th Anniversary of the Kool Herc Parties

    • Breaking: B-Boy Rave Williams teaches the fundamentals of breakdance culture, techniques, and house dance. Use science and math to create movement, and find out how breaking can be for everyone and make teaching fun and relatable to today’s youth.
    • MC (Making Connections): MC, radio host, and educator BlackLiq will guide an exploration of how to create student- and community-relevant rhymes. Participants will release some tension through self-expression and incorporate multiple content areas.
    • DJ School: DJ Lonnie B guides participants through the research, techniques, and non-verbal communication of mixing music and beats.
    • Graffiti & WritersHamilton Glass, Silly Genius, and Chris Visions explore visual text and the styles of writing and making pieces that burn, from concept-developing tools through final spray can work.
    • The Kool Herc Party All the elements come together for an "underground" hip hop party with a DJ, breakdancers, graffiti artists, and an MC. This event is open to the community, with activity prompts at stations to apply the tools learned throughout the four element workshops.

    Day 5: Performance Poetry, Storytelling, and Finding Emotional Checkpoints

    • Harness spoken word with Richmond’s first poet laureate. Roscoe Burnems will lead a process of performance and experimentation with the different ways slam poetry can engage, empower, and amplify student voice.
    • Hosted at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture